Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Jolly Roger Imperial Stout - Otto's Pub and Brewery

Not Rated.
Jolly Roger Imperial StoutJolly Roger Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

76 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 76
Hads: 144
Avg: 4.15
pDev: 12.53%
Wants: 44
Gots: 16 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Otto's Pub and Brewery visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ski271 on 06-20-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 76 | Hads: 144
Photo of MDDMD
4.15/5  rDev 0%

A-dark brown black color with a nice tan head and decent lacing

S-cocoa, coffee, dark malt, molasses, little char

T-dark roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate, molasses, light char, licorice

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth

O-nice imperial stout, good balance of flavors

 290 characters

Photo of Dodo2step
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

P- Wegmans in Mechanicsburg, PA

A- coffee black with no light seeping through. poor head and no lacing.

S- molasses and coffee bean dominate the nose. I get subtle hints of chocolate.

F- bitter coffee hits the palate first and the roasted malts with molasses topping it off. not bad combo but the coffee is a tad too strong.

M- thick bodied and full of coffee and booze

O- not bad. a nice imperial stout. I like coffee but the coffee overpowers just a smidge.

 469 characters

Photo of Bone53
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a snifter at around 45 degrees Fahrenheit

Appearance: Dark brown pour but once in the glass its pitch black with no light coming through. The head is almost nonexistent, more like a tan ring. Good lacing

Smell: Molasses, roasted malts, coffee. On the sweet side but not cloyingly so. I pick up more alcohol the warmer it gets

Taste: Roasted malts upfront, molasses in the middle, with bitter coffee notes and slight smoke to finish it off. Quite nice

Mouthfeel: Medium body and a little lighter than I expect from the style; Goes down smooth with a moderately bitter finish. Slight warmth from the alcohol

Overal: This is a solid RIS. Not the biggest malt bill, but the molasses adds complexity and makes up for it. Although not quite up there with my favorite imperial stouts, it's a very good representation of the style and I am looking forward to having this come winter. Cheers!

 914 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Drinking this while playing Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. Seems appropriate.

Looks great. Great nose; mild smoke with thick malts. Tastes great too. Thick malt character with molasses edges. Really nice. Feel is superb. All stouts should have this level of thickness. An excellent stout. I will go back to this in the future. It's on the level of Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout.

 382 characters

Photo of tviz33
4.29/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz bomber in to a snifter.

A- Pours pretty much black with less than a finger of light brown head that settles to a thin ring. Good lacing.

S- Mostly roasty malts and coffee. A little chocolate. Nice.

T- Follows the nose but is noticeably hoppier. A little smokiness and bitterness is here as well.

M- Medium full bodied and medium carbonation. Just a hint of alcohol.

O- Just a solid beer overall. Very nice offering from Otto's.

 452 characters

Photo of themind
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Jolly Roger is Jolly good! The beer pours a pitch black motor oil color with a small head. The aroma is roasty chocolate, subtle but nice. The mouthfeel was good as the carbonation level seemed basically up to par. The taste is roasted chocolate and dark fruits. A low level of sweetness accompanied this beer. Overall I feel lucky to have tried this brew....thanks A.B. The ABV is kinda hidden, this has a little burn at 10%

Bottom Line: Yup would buy it again!

 463 characters

Photo of rlee1390
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Black int he glass but brown when pouring, one ginger off white head that tries to leave some lacing.

S-Lots of roasted malt, burnt notes, come dark chocolate and coffee.

T-Roast and burnt notes, almost smoked. Dark chocolate, very slight coffee.

M-Some alcohol head, slightly watery, not much carbonation.

O- For 10% the alcohol was hidden rather well, but still showed up. More coffee and chocolate notes would have been better.

 436 characters

Photo of joe1510
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz Bomber

I get the chance to drink Jolly Roger thanks to two great traders, BeerTruth and Kegatron, thanks for the extras guys! This big Impy stout pours black as night with an easy growing head that ended up at two fingers before it slowly receded to a thick cap. The head is mocha head is so dark it has that look of being purple. With the head settling and each drink there is some great sheet lace left behind that nearly coats the glass. The head retention and lacing are excellent for such a big brew.

The aroma is chock full of roasty malts and high cocoa content dark chocolate. Minor tendrils of smoke trail up through the nose while faint vanilla and black licorice all make their mark on the in the nose. The licorice becomes more noticeable as this stout warms. There's a clean booziness that tickles the nose underneath a nice nondescript dark berry character. The peat like smokiness is mild but brings the aroma to the next level with every aspect being very well integrated.

Each sip uncovers new characteristics of this brew although they can all be found in the aroma. Rich roasty malts kick things off and slowly lead into dark chocolate that borders on bittersweet but doesn't quite make it to that point. The front and middle of this beer are fairly straightforward; the backend explodes with flavor. Before the swallow the chocolate gets richer along with the peat smokiness, coffee grounds, unidentified dark berries, licorice of the black variety, and vanilla all in that order of intensity. There's enough heat to warm my cheeks but is hard to pull out in the flavor. This stout has any and all flavors I want to see in my RISs.

The texture is all you could look for with this flavor profile and abv. The body feels like it's on the heavier side of medium on the tip of the tongue but quickly turns silky smooth, dense and heavy with a slight stick on the cheeks. The alcohol fumes rise into the nose for some warmth. The texture and body on this brew are great.

The sheer size of this makes it a sipper but an enjoyable beer to take your time with. I've been sipping on this bottle for a little over an hour now and would love some more, unfortunately the bottle is empty.

Jolly Roger is an excellent RIS. The smoked malt sets this beer apart from others in a big way. The finish is hugely complex but in no way burns up the tastebuds. A big thanks goes out to Adam and Heath for throwing these bottles in as extras, stand up and take a bow guys.

Reviewed: 11/28/08

 2,502 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.61/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Ottos : Jolly Roger

look: Dark brown with little off white head. Good clarity and leaves lace. As a side experiment I had a separate glass later with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Smell: dark coffee, smoke, roasted malt

Taste: coffee, nip of fruit. Mild booze, raisin, vanilla hints. This is a sweet stout. Hops are there with some earthy bitterness. Caramel drizzle. Finishes with some sugary sweetness.

FEEL: Full bodied, well carbonated, smooth and drinks easy.

Overall: The beer is a bit hot, a bit sweet, but after having this side by side a duplicate glass with a scoop of vanilla , Ive come to the conclusion that both were good (consume any ice cream laced imperial stout quickly). I would drink this again. Good, but not outstanding. A no-brainer as the best beer brewed in happy valley.

 801 characters

Photo of Uniobrew31
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pitch black stout, aggressively poured yet still only about a half inch of head

S: Roasted malt and Coffey scent.

T: smooth at first then burned malt and smoke. The smoke flavor seemed to build over the course of the bomber. Was not expecting smoke in an RIS. I will say that usually do not enjoy smoked beers but this one I will have again

M: viscos, not overly carbonated

O: great beer for its style. Definitely stands apart from the crowd. The smoke was the only thing that kept me from rating it higher. So if you like stout and rauch beer it is your dream beer

 573 characters

Photo of jwhancher
3.82/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with nice tan head with vigorous pour into large snifter. Smells a little one dimensional. Lots of cocoa & some lite grassy hop notes. Not sure how old the bottle was since there was no bottled on date. Tastes of vanilla & chocolate. Doesn't feel like 10% ABV whatsoever. Seems like 6%. Good amount of bitterness present. A very nice beer. Would like to see a little more complexity.

 399 characters

Photo of mscott1975
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been on BA for a few years now and after many 'hads' this is my first review.

Picked up today at the brewery. I was told this beer was bottled just a few days ago.

From a bomber into a snifter. I let this beer warm up quite a bit before pouring it. A rather aggressive pour yields a beer that is almost completely black with some brown highlights around the edges. A thin khaki head that recedes pretty quickly producing very little lacing, however this seems to be a common trait wit 10% abv RIS's. Not the greatest looking RIS I've ever seen but an attractive beer nonetheless.

The nose is quite strong. I get quite a bit of smoke, black licorice , burntness and some booze. Not exactly what I'm used to with RIS's. I give them credit for trying something a little different with this one.

The taste follows the nose. Smoke & licorice with some bitter, alcohol bite at the end. The smoke is especially present on my palate. While I'm not usually a fan of smoked beers, this isn't overwhelming. Some RIS's are too sweet for me but this one never goes too far in that direction. I found myself wanting to take another sip pretty quickly early on in the bomber.

The mouthfeel is smooth and not too heavy, but not thin either. The carbonation seems to be spot on for the style. It's actually pretty easy to drink given how strong it is.

I have 2 more bottles I'll sit on for awhile. I think this beer is put together very well. I don't mind the smokey flavor, but I also don't prefer it. I'll see what some age does to it. This beer reminded me a little of Stone Smoked Porter.

 1,596 characters

Photo of dtivp
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark pitch black with a thin light tan cap, no lacing.

Aroma of dark roasted malt, bold roast coffee and hints of vanilla.

Taste followed the nose with burnt malt, bold black coffee hints of dark chocolate and alcohol.

Mouth Feel was medium leaning full body, smooth and oily slick with a very nice alcohol warming.

Overall this was a very good imperial stout, a nice beer to sip on a cold winter night.

 416 characters

Photo of DanielBrett
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz Bottle Poured into a Pint glass

A: Pitch Black, absolutely no light penetration. After settling I was left with a nice mocha colored two-finger head with good retention. Nice lacing, about half way through the glass and there is still some foam clinging to the very top of the glass.

S: Initially the nose is hit with a sweet, chocolate smell, followed by a medium aroma of coffee, and subtle hints of smoke and hops.

T: Upfront was a sweet roasted malt / coffee taste, then became bittersweet mid way, followed by a lightly smokey pleasant finish.

M: Very Creamy and thick body. Alcohol is masked well. Having not known the ABV initially I would have guessed it was around 8% not 10%. Leaves a sticky, dry feeling at end.

O: I thoroughly enjoyed this beer, my favorite from Otto's yet.

 796 characters

Photo of TheMultiYeast
4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Viscous black liquid with a small mocha colored head leaving patchy lace.

Aroma has coffee upfront with bittersweet chocolate. Rich roasted character with hints of hickory smoke. Resiny pine hop aromas.

Flavor opens up with mocha and roasted woodiness and significant sweetness. Resinous, oily hop bitterness and mild sticky sweetness.

Feel is oily, chewy, warming and sticky.

Great Imperial Stout from Otto's

 413 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured form a 22 oz. bottle into snifter.

Appearance - A nice deep black with a light brown head upon pouring that dissipated fast to a nice wispy head; clung to glass while swirled.

Smell - Strong chocolate aroma with a bit of coffee after.

Taste - A strong cocoa presence with some sweeter vanilla and some sweet raisin flavors.

Mouthfeel - A moderate body, with a very smooth texture, although maybe a bit thinner then expected for abv.

Overall - A very good brew and one I would recommend. Not quite up to snuff to the bourbon aged on tap, but a very solid brew non the less.

 584 characters

Photo of nhindian
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a large snifter.

A - Pours a pitch, flat black which completely obscures all light. It gradually builds a formidable, 2-fingered, dark mocha head with pretty good retention, lasting several minutes. Lacing is decent as well, with sticky foam randomly sticking to several spots around the glass.

S - Right away, the nose brings a very sweet smell with rich chocolates that are balanced by a somewhat bitter smokiness. It also has a slight tang of soy in it as well to round everything out. It has all the makings of a big, bold, dark stout.

T - The taste starts with a heavy dose of malts and roast that gives off a smoky , ashy quality. This acridness gives way to a chocolate sweetness mixed with a dash of soy. Finish is full of smoke and sweetness.

M - Mouthfeel is thick and full-bodied with decent carbonation. A long finish with lots of different balancing notes that keeps it from feeling too heavy or syrupy on the palate.

D/O - Drinkability is pretty high. Although the flavors are bold and in-your-face, it is balanced and smooth-drinking. It kind of reminds me of a 'Dark Lord lite' due to the flavor profile but without the heaviness and cloying sweetness.

 1,197 characters

Photo of robwestcott
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

big thanks to erikkoppin for this one.

poured cold from the bottle a deep dark oily black to a surly darkness 12oz snifter with a full finger, fluffy, dark mocha head leaving a blanket of lace to the rim after each sip.

aroma of black coffee and dark chocolate.

creamy, bitter coffee up front, semi sweet chocolate and a bit of smoke in the wayback. hot.

medium bodied, slick almost oily, heat, medium bitter.

very nice stout, abv hidden, just right sweet.

 461 characters

Photo of russwbeck
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pitch black pour with a very nicely sized brown head. Hardly any lacing, retention is good.

S: Full of coffee, molasses, roasted malts. Really good smell, deep and balanced.

T: The taste is sweet. Molasses, light roasted malts then a big hit of coffee. Cocoa throughout the taste, with a slight smokey hint. Nicely balanced, no singular big flavor.

MF: Heavy body, carbonated well. Dry finish, hardly any hint of the booze.

O: Love this beer. Otto's is a solid brewery, and this is a solid beer. Can't wait to see how this ages, maybe they'll drop some into bourbon barrels?

 581 characters

Photo of jifigz
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pitch black in color with a nice head of tan that lingers for a substantial amount of time leaving nice lacing.

S: Raspberry, coffee, and burnt leaves dominated the aroma.

T: The raspberry and coffee are very evident in the flavor. Smoke and a burnt flavor is also there with the booze rounding out the flavor.

M: A pretty thick and viscous brew. I like it. It fits the style extremely well.

O: A very solid beer from a tiny brewery. This is one of the best Imperial stouts I have ever had. Good stuff and a great winter beer for sure.

 579 characters

Photo of JAXSON
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 rate.

Enjoyed at the brewpup on nitro. The nitro is an interesting idea for this beer, it results in a really delightfully soft, bubbly mouthfeel, but cuts down too much on the carbonation, which loses a point for it in my book. The flavors are pretty big but mellowed out, roasty, chocolate, vanilla, some anise and spices. Very good.

 341 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to tenderbranson69 for this birthday beer, cellared for 2 yrs -enjoyed at Stout Tasting part deux. Enjoyed chilled in a taster.

A deep black color with thin light brown cap, lace stickage is good. The aroma is of strong cocoa with a slight coffee odor which has a mild smoke elment and hint of dark brown sugar. The feel is strong and roasted with slight caramel sweetness and semi dry finish w/ moderate carbonation throughout.

Jolly Roger is very good to my taste w/ cocoa notes from the chocolate malt presenting a balanced and roasted flavor w/ slightly smokey accent which could be black patent malt - The hops provide some spice in the taste with gentle brown sugar flavors adding to the mellow coffee notes. The beer is mildly sweet with a semi-dry overall finish pretty satisfying from fridge temp until slighly warmer. A very drinkable imperial stout. I appreciated this beer for my birthday and this was the right occasion to have it-solid beer and one I would not hesitate to pick up again.

 1,014 characters

Photo of joepais
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Tiklmelmo for sending this brew my way. I split it with my Bro in law who just retired from the Navy. The bottle poured into snifters produced a nice short lived two finger tan head, that slipped of to a nice lace. The body of the brew was dark as night.

The aromas' was nice and toasty. Yes, toasty. I got some nice roasted malts aromas'(chocolate, coffee) but also a slight smoke to it. The flavor was really good for a RIS some nice coffee notes with some chocolate thrown in. The funny thing was a got a slight hint of bourbon on this one as well but, didn't see that it was barrel aged. The mouthfeel was good with slight carbonation.

A great way to finish of my BBQ we sipped at the glasses for some time and were left wanting for more. A must try unique RIS in my book.

 790 characters

Photo of morimech
4.09/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark black color with a thin mocha colored head that settles to a thin cap. Some spotty lacing is left on the glass. Wonderful aroma of dark, roasted malt, dark fruit, chocolate, smoke, and alcohol. I thought this beer might be a little hot but the flavor did not reflect my impression of the aroma. Very roasted flavor with hints of smoke. The roasted qualities are so strong, the more subtle flavor elements are lost. Moderate bitterness which seems to come from the roast. The alcohol which seemed so apparent in the aroma is well covered up in the taste. Thick and chewy body that is just a tad overcarbonated. Otherwise it has a solid mouthfeel. Not overly sweet, bitter, or boozy. A solid Russian Imperial Stout.

 718 characters

Photo of number1bum
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The pour is a very dark brown, nearly black, but not quite opaque. A vigorous pour produces one finger of very dark tan head, which settles pretty quickly but keeps a full lace. Not much stick on the sides but the lacing is nice.

Smell is very bold and enticing, with big roasted malt and dark chocolate aromas, plus some coffee and smoke, and a bit of dark fruit too.

Taste also has a good amount of roasted malt and some bold coffee flavor as well. Hhas a smokiness to it like the nose did. It's maybe a tad overly roasted to the point of being slightly charred, however, and although there is some chocolate and molasses sweetness the deep roast flavor really dominates them. Some dark fruit pokes through in the finish, like maybe black currant, with lingering roastiness left on the palate as well.

Mouthfeel is medium-full and pretty creamy, although the big roastiness gives it a bit of a biting astringency. Otherwise it is relatively smooth.

Even though the roasted malt is a bit overdone, there is still some really good flavor here; I just wish it were a bit more balanced, in which case it would go from being quite good to more elite company. A really nice local imperial stout nonetheless.

 1,209 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Jolly Roger Imperial Stout from Otto's Pub and Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 76 ratings.